News report | | 14-06-2019 | ±3 minutes reading time

The Australian government has strict rules regarding biosafety. For instance, travellers can only bring limited types of food into the country. Furthermore, travellers at the airport must indicate exactly what they are carrying on their Declaration Card.

Travellers that fail to declare food can get into serious trouble. They might be fined for making a false declaration. Lately, the government has also started cancelling the Australia visa of travellers that really crossed the lines. Having a visa for Australia is mandatory for British travellers.

Bringing food to Australia

In theory, bringing food to Australia isn’t forbidden, as long as it is declared. It is important to keep in mind that if you decide to bring food that was offered during the flight, this food must also be declared. Everything related to food needs to be declared on the chart. Travellers that don’t do that can face serious problems.

This happened to the Indian traveller Nika. She arrived in Australia and brought a meal from India, pickled chicken, which she didn’t declare on her passenger card. She was stopped and quarantined by the the customs official at the airport in Melbourne.

Nika applied for a visa, a student visa. All passengers must declare what they are carrying with them when landing. Nika did not do this, as she forgot that she was carrying food in her luggage. Her luggage had been packed by her mother, making her unaware of what it contained specifically. On the airport, she was searched and the food was found. The official said that it presented a risk to the biosafety of the country. After the food was confiscated, she was allowed into the country.

Extra measures

The student from India was in luck, as since 17 April 2019 stricter rules apply for importing forbidden items into Australia. Forbidden items don’t just include guns and drugs, but also foodwares that can present a threat to the biosafety of Australia. There are very strict rules regarding what the passenger can and can’t bring. This way, agriculture in Australia is protected.

That’s why the Australian government implemented a new rule. Travellers that carry too much or dangerous food and don’t declare it on their declaration form, can from now on be barred from entering the country. It has become new grounds to completely nullify an Australia visa. The quarantine employee can, along with the Australia immigration service, decide to cancel the visa. This is done when they suspect that intent is in play, when information has not been truthfully filled in, or when someone has posed a grave threat to the biosafety.

The new rules mean that visitors that make false declaration can receive substantial punishment. The Australian border police has indicated that there have been cases of people that were not allowed into the country, for (un)intentionally making a false declaration. Travellers that are forbidden from entering the country aren’t just forced to travel back on their own costs, but they are also forbidden from entering Australia for the next three years. Making a correct declaration is therefore very important.

Australia visa application

To travel to Australia, British travellers need to possess their own Australia visa. This rule does not just apply to adults, but also to minors. It is therefore not possible to include a child in the visa of their parents. Any children travelling along must possess their own passport and Australia visa.

The Australia visa is meant for holidays and business trips and can be applied for in five minutes. An Australia visa costs €14,95 per person.

Important to know: the visa check can already take place when checking-in or boarding. This depends on the airline. That’s why it is important to apply for a visa on time. Generally, an Australia visa is granted within a few days. This concerns the so-called eVisitor visa. It’s cheap, and suffices for business trips or tourist trips. The Australian immigration service recommends submitting an application several weeks before departure.

In urgent needs of an Australia visa? Submit an urgent application. Generally speaking, you receive the eVisitor visa by e-mail within a few days. In 90 percent of the cases the visa is granted within 3 days. Make sure that all travellers apply for their visa on time.